Well friends, it’s been over six weeks now in social distancing mode in California, and the reality we are all in right now is stressful. As we see millions of people (some of them our loved ones) suffer job loss and other setbacks, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed, anxious and a little helpless. I have been adding a few extra drops of the 500 mg Fresh Mint Tincture to my morning coffee for good measure; it’s amazing what a small ritual can do for my emotional well-being.
While times like these can create a sense of unrest, we can also look at this as a challenge to answer the call from our community to give back. At Asha, we firmly believe we share a responsibility to create a future we want to live in. We’ve said it before: feeling good is tied to doing good. So what does “doing good” look like during times like these? We have given this a lot of thought, both from a company perspective and on a human level. Here are some ideas we have found to be helpful:
Maybe you don’t know where to start when it comes to locating a non-profit or charity you want to give to. That’s ok. It can be as simple as offering to help an elderly neighbor order and/or pick up groceries. One of the most impactful actions you can take is to give locally. Non-profits in the basic need space are on red alert right now, working through astronomical demand increases (and also trying to keep their staffers safe). If you can’t narrow your efforts, look to see if your city has created a community response fund so you can spread out your donations to various areas of need.
The harsh reality is not everyone can give money right now, especially with the job loss happening across the country. Reach out to nursing homes in your area and see if they are taking volunteers to be “virtual” visitors. Many nursing homes around the world are in forced lockdown, meaning the residents can’t have family visit them, making it all the more crucial to help out your elderly community with human connection through virtual means. Many Food Banks are still asking for volunteers, and are finding ways for people to still help while maintaining social distancing requirements. Check out Feeding America’s website to see different ways to give, and to locate a Food Bank in your area. Want to see a variety of virtual volunteer opportunities? Check out VolunteerMatch, which pairs you with various volunteer opportunities, depending on interest/location. They have a section of the site dedicated to volunteer opportunities related to COVID-19 and Virtual Volunteering.
Before you drop off that bag of stuff you don’t need any more at your local charity, reach out and ask what they need. These times have caused a lot of non-profits to shift their focus completely. It can actually be detrimental to the non-profit to have an influx of donations they can’t take or use, but still have to use precious resources to process the items. On the flip side, it’s also important to make sure you are giving to a non-profit that you trust. If it’s a small charity, check out their website, and see what types of information they provide, and what their community is saying. If it’s a larger charity (with more than $1 million in annual revenue), you can see their ratings on watchdog sites like Charity Navigator or GuideStar, and get a true sense for where your dollar is going, and how efficiently they are using your dollar.
We hope these resources are helpful to our Asha family. We are inspired by all the goodwill we are seeing across the globe, and are constantly striving to be part of the change we want to see. If you would like to learn more specifically about how Asha lives and breathes the mission, check out our non-profit partners and philanthropic efforts.
Stay safe, my friends.